Commitment Sunday on March 18th is quickly approaching. That's the day when we will join together in celebration to renew our commitment to and financial support for our wonderful church home.
Hopefully you have received your beautiful brochure and accompanying letter in the mail, brought to you by the Annual Budget Drive committee, being chaired this year by George Marinakis and Matt Wilson. Please read through these materials and consider what role UUCR plays in your life and how you are able to support it with your financial pledge. Then come to church on March 18th with the pledge card provided to you in that packet. Reverend John Gibbons from the UU Bedford church will be our guest minister that morning. With the support of our Annual Budget Drive committee, we will be providing you with some yummy eats at coffee hour after both services where you can turn in your pledge card.
This year, we need to raise $ 450,000 during our annual budget drive in order to support our annual operating budget which, with our growing congregation and expanding programs, has passed $ 500,000 for the first time. Your brochure provides a pie chart showing the breakdown of income and expenses related to this budget. There are 3 areas which I'd like to bring to your attention in particular, where additional funds are imperative in our ability to effectively maintain our church staff and campus.
- We do not currently pay our minister and other staff members average/fair compensation.
- Our central office staff must rely on an ancient telephone and computer system which greatly impedes their effectiveness.
- We have put-off much needed building maintenance on all 3 buildings in our campus for years.
Our mission calls upon us to not only support and maintain our existing programs and resources but to grow them and reach beyond our doors to the world outside, sharing our unique perspectives and gifts. Your generous gift will enable us to do so. This year, consider how your pledge may support these program and initiatives:
- Our Faith Development Program is growing in strength and numbers with more children and families becoming involved in the program.
- Our Social Action Program directly impacts the lives of others in our community and world, including our 2-year food-focused 'Planting Seeds' initiative.
- Plans are in the works to develop Public Relations mechanisms to get the word out about all the wonderful goings-on here at UUCR and to develop a Marketing Team who will reach out to particular demographics, letting them know about the tremendous resources available at UUCR.
So who financially supports the Annual Budget Drive? You do. And I do. And everyone else who sits in the pews does. It is our shared responsibility to make this church operate and provide the programs and resources that we all need and through which we can nurture our spirits and help heal our world.
How much money should you contribute? That's entirely up to you but I do ask that you consider the fact that we need to exceed last year’s average pledge amount of $ 2,250 to reach our goal. If you are currently pledging under this amount, please consider increasing your pledge as close to $ 2,250, as you are able. If you are currently pledging over this amount, please consider increasing your pledge by 10 % to ensure that we are able to meet our goals.
Our faith and varied experiences touch us in so many ways. In preparation for our collective offering, we invite you to reflect on what fires your commitment to this wondrous place.